By Tom Henry – Posted on 31 January 2010
The husband of a cyclist killed by a 4×4 whose driver claimed she fainted at the wheel has spoken at length about his loss.
Peter Corless was riding ahead of his wife Sharon when a Range Rover Sport driven by Tracy Johnson hit them from behind.
But although Mrs Corless was fatally injured, charges of causing death by dangerous driving were dropped against Mrs Johnson when both the prosecution and defence accepted she was not conscious when she hit the couple on September 27, 2008.
Mr Corless told the Sunday People: “It is so devastating that the woman will never face a trial. Our family’s lives have changed forever but she didn’t even get a driving ban.
“I can still remember the bike ride. Sharon was cycling behind me and I was looking back every so often to check she was OK. I remember that the last time I looked she was smiling. Then suddenly something slammed into us from behind and everything was gone. Sharon was a perfect mum and a fantastic wife, and trying to rebuild our lives without her still feels impossible.”
The couple were approaching a roundabout two miles from their house in Warrington, Cheshire, when Mrs Johnson’s 4×4 hit them at an estimated 50mph.
Mrs Corless was dragged under the wheels and fatally injured while Mr Corless suffered a broken hip, cracked pelvis, damaged knee and ankles and bleeding to the brain.
The 4×4 ploughed across the roundabout without altering course or braking, smashed into a car and then hit a lamppost before stopping.
“After the car hit us, my memory of the next few days is patchy,” Mr Corless said. “I remember the paramedics telling me not to move, and then I was drifting in and out of consciousness. When I woke up properly I was in a hospital ward that afternoon. All of the family were around my bed and the doctors were telling us what had happened to Sharon.
“When I heard that the CPS were going to drop the case, I was so disappointed and confused I couldn’t speak. We had waited for 15 months for answers about that day and for all the evidence to be heard.
“Even if the verdict had been not guilty, we would have been disappointed but accepted it. But now we have to face the reality that we might never know exactly what happened that day. What makes it more worrying is that I’m sure in the future some people may consider using this case to avoid being charged with dangerous driving – whether guilty or not.”